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The Harbaughs are a football family

Super Bowl coaches' uncle has ties to Colfax area
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Those who were acquainted with Jim Harbaugh might have wondered if the former Lukens Springs manager had any connection to Jim and John Harbaugh, of football and Super Bowl fame. The answer is a definite “yes.”

“Both of those boys are my nephews,” Harbaugh said, “I’ve got a great deal of love and respect for both of them.” His brother, Jack, is their father.

Until three years ago, Harbaugh managed the Lukens Springs water operation in Baxter for Keith Lukens and the Nestle Water company. “I managed seven springs in Northern California” for Nestle, Harbaugh said. Although he is a resident of Hidden Valley in Lake County, Harbaugh said, “There were times I was there three or four times a week” at Baxter. According to Harbaugh, Nestles continues to bottle Lukens Spring water.

Laura Lukens, manager of Lukens Springs, said she talked to Harbaugh before his trip to New Orleans, and told him that if he got on TV, to “say hello to California.”

Harbaugh, 69 and now retired, was born and raised in Ohio. He, too, could have chosen a football path when he was offered a scholarship to Miami University of Ohio. “I turned it down. I decided I’d be better off in the Marine Corps,” where he served for four years, he said. He moved to California in 1962. His late brother, Jerry, coached high school football for 42 years.

Harbaugh said Sunday’s Super Bowl win by the Baltimore Ravens, coached by John Harbaugh, is “bittersweet. I feel real happy for John and wish him all the best,” but he feels equally bad for Jim Harbaugh, coach of the San Francisco 49ers who were on the losing end of the 34-31 score.

This was the second time the two teams met – the Ravens also beat the 49ers during a game last November – and watching those games is “tough,” Harbaugh said. “You want to see them both win; you want them both to be successful.”

Harbaugh and his family left with the 49ers on the team plane on Thursday for New Orleans where the Super Bowl was played and returned Monday evening. “We had kind of a reunion down there. … There must have been 25 of us there,” he said.

Harbaugh said there was a third Harbaugh on the football field for Sunday’s game. Jay Harbaugh – the oldest son and one of six children of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh – is one of the assistant coaches on the Ravens team, coached by Jay’s uncle John Harbaugh.